Larry Mullins is currently the Deputy Director of Scioto County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), and he recently spoke with Mark Craycraft regarding the EMA’s response to the Coronavirus. The EMA recently released a timeline displaying their response time to the Coronavirus, but that timeline ended on March 20th, so Larry was asked to update the public on what had occurred since the 20th.
While Larry stated that the situation is constantly changing, the EMA has done their best to manage what they call the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in order to stay updated with the most relevant information possible. In addition to this, the EMA has worked in conjunction with local hospitals, health departments, and social service agencies to mitigate the spread of the virus as much as possible.
The EMA is responsible for pushing out health information to the public as it becomes available. They also provide the necessary materials that are needed to combat this virus. During this week, they were given the additional task by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency of processing Scioto County’s request for their part of what’s known as the Strategic National Stockpile, which provides the county with personal protection materials.
Within the County, Larry and Kimberly Carver are the only two employees of the EMA, and both have worked in this field, either in a volunteer or paid position for many years. Originally, Larry was slated to be promoted to Deputy Director on April 1st, but the Coronavirus forced his promotion to be accelerated.
Ten minutes into the interview, the conversation shifted to the recent press releases that had been made by Governor Mike DeWine. When asked how his family had personally been affected by the Governor’s stay at home mandates, Larry stated that his routine has basically become to work at the EMA then go home and sleep, until to do it again the next day. On the days he is able to take off of work, he and his family do their best to stay home and practice social distancing.
Larry said that throughout his sixty-one years of life, he has never seen an emergency of quite this magnitude face the country. When asked about the recently confirmed Coronavirus case in Lawrence County, Mullins stated that it hasn’t really changed anything given the fact that it is almost inevitable that a case will be confirmed in the County, and it is only a matter of time until this happens.
Due to the fact that a case will most likely occur in Scioto County, Larry encourages people to continue practicing behaviors such as social distancing and staying home from work when sick. The goal of these behaviors is to flatten the curve so that medical centers are not overwhelmed by the influx of cases.
Given the fact that Dr. Amy Acton recently stated that between 40-70% of all Ohioans will end up getting the disease, the EMA is already working under the assumption that there are cases in Scioto County, and the goal is to slow the spread of the virus, not prevent it.
Larry Mullins EMA